Will Easton, Manager / Act for Change, Working Assets – 2007-09-15 22:01:31
Tell Congress: Save Habeas Corpus, Restore our Constitution
Did you know that President Bush now has the power to declare anyone he wants, including US citizens, to be an “enemy combatant” — and imprison them indefinitely without access to our court system?
Last September, Congress shamefully passed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA) — which codified the suspension of habeas corpus rights, and allowed the government to continue holding prisoners at Guantanamo (and other secret sites) indefinitely with no access to a fair hearing in court.
Indefinite imprisonment without judicial review is unconstitutional — and fundamentally un-American. It’s a hallmark of fascist dictatorships, not constitutional democracies like ours.
Fortunately, there is movement in Congress to restore this fundamental consitutional right. This Monday, September 17th, the Senate is expected to resume debate on the Department of Defense Authorization bill and vote on S.185, the Specter-Leahy amendment to restore habeas corpus.
This will be the first full up-or-down vote in Congress on restoring habeas corpus, and could give Guantanamo prisoners the long-denied right to independent review of their detention.
If our moral standing in the world community is ever to be restored, this bill is a very good first step.
In just a few days, the Senate will vote on whether or not to restore habeas corpus — the fundamental constitutional right that allows citizens to challenge the lawfulness of their imprisonment. President Bush currently has the power to declare anyone, including US citizens, “enemy combatants” and throw them in jail indefinitely without any explanation for their imprisonment.
We urge you to contact your senators now and speak up to save habeas corpus and restore the Constitution.
In September of last year, the Republican-controlled Congress passed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA), which suspended the right of habeas corpus for the first time since the Civil War.
Tell your senators that you want to see habeas corpus restored.
This July, we told you that the Senate was expected to vote to restore habeas corpus with an amendment (S. 185) introduced by Senators Leahy and Specter to the Department of Defense authorization bill.
This vote was postponed due to a dispute over funding the war in Iraq. But on Monday, the Senate will once again resume debate on this critical amendment and vote on whether to restore our Constitution.
Without habeas corpus, we’ve taken the first step on a very slippery slope towards dictatorship. So e-mail your senators today and ask for a “yes” vote on the Leahy-Specter habeas amendment.
• Please share this message with anyone you know who cares about saving our Constitution.
Thank you for working to build a better world.
Contact Your Senators Today
In a few days, the Senate will resume debate on the Defense Authorization Bill, including an amendment from Senators Leahy and Specter to restore habeas corpus. Tell your senators today to vote “yes” on this critical amendment.
• Make Your Voice Heard
If you are a Working Assets customer, you can also call your senators at 202/224-3121 at no charge.
I’m writing to urge you to support the “Habeas Corpus Restoration Act of 2007” (S.185) offered by Senators Leahy and Specter to restore the historic right of habeas corpus, which Congress restricted in the Military Commissions Act of 2006.
Habeas corpus is the bedrock of American justice. Without habeas rights, government prisoners are denied a fair hearing in court to challenge the lawfulness of their detention, including the way they are treated in their confinement. Imprisoning people without a fair trial is unconstitutional and un-American.
The government should not be allowed to keep people in prison indefinitely without due process of law. That’s the hallmark of fascist dictatorships, not constitutional democracies.
On June 7th, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-8 to take the first step to restore habeas corpus by approving S. 185. I urge you to vote yes on this critical amendment.